Mar 22, 2014

New Brewery Pale Ale

Drunkenness is Loyalty, Sobriety is Treason

New Brewery Pale Ale

1.050 - 1.010

42 IBU

5.25% ABV

This is the first beer brewed on my new electric HERMS system. The idea is to make something simple that may need adjustment at the end. I will not calculate hop additions until I know the gravity of the wort, but will aim for something close to 1:1 BU:GU. This is loosely based on Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale, with obvious changes (flaked wheat, etc.).

The Malts:

16# Marris Otter
2# Flaked Wheat
.5# Crystal 60L
.33# Chocolate Wheat

The Hops

Will calculate after mashing.
Goal is for around .80 BU:GU

1 oz Magnum (11.5% AA) -- 60 Minutes
1 oz East KEnt Goldings (7.2% AA) -- 30 Minutes
1 oz Eat Kent Goldings (7.2% AA) - 15 minutes
.84 BU:GU


Strike water should be 6.25 gallons (manufacturer recommends 1 gallon per 3 lbs of grain)
Sparge until there are 14 gallons in boil kettle

Notes and Reflections:

Mashing at around 158 I had the temperature set to 156 differential seems to be about 2° so I turned it down to 155

Gravity during mash out near 1.084.

Increase to mash out is quite slow probably due to the similarities in temperature between the match out and the hot liquor tank. Raised the temperature in the hot liquor tank from 170° to 175°.

Pre-boil gravity 1.040.
 Final gravity 1.050.

I need to remember drinking a lot of beer while brewing (especially the first time using a new system is a terrible idea. The secret beer game was a fun one, but i was kinda distracted at the end of the brew which made it a little less enjoyable than it normally would have been. There were plenty of distractions at the time, and I may not have dealt with them well. I had to weigh my remaining hops this morning to be sure I did not forget the 15 minute addition.

4.4.14 -- Checked gravity today (around 1.013), but the biggest note is the harsh bitter aftertaste that I hope will fade. Though fermentation is complete, I still consider this beer to be young, so perhaps. I also wonder if there is a chance I made an error in calculating IBUs.
4.14.14 -- Kegged the first bucket (gravity 1.010). The harsh bitter aftertaste has disappeared, though there is still plenty bitter in the finish. This will be good cool and carbonated.

Feb 15, 2014

Estimated Prophet

Fire Wheel Burning in the air

Estimated Prophet
West Coast Pale Ale
1.051 - 1.006
5.8% ABV
44 IBU

I'll call down thunder and speak the same
17# American 2-row
2# 60L Crystal
2# Flaked Wheat

My word fills the sky with flame
1oz Cluster (6.8% AA) - 60 minutes
1oz Columbus (16.4% AA) 15 minutes
1oz Cascade (8.9% AA) - 10 minutes
1oz Columbus (16.4% AA) - 5 minutes
1oz Cascade (7.5% AA) - 5 minutes
1oz Columbus (16.4% AA) - 0 minutes
1oz Cascade (7.5% AA) - 0 minutes

Might and glory gonna be my name
US-05 Slurry from Keller XP

Men gonna light my way
8 gallons strike water
2.6 absorbed
at least 8.6 gallons sparge water
Total water needed - at least 16.6 gallons


Mash begins 7:45 AM
Mash temperature 154°
Had to add some boiling water at the beginning of the mash to bring it up to temperature. Closer to 9 gallons went into the mashed instead of eight.
First runnings 1.065. About 6 1/2 gallons.
Final gravity 1.051.
All done cleaning up 1:45 PM

3.8.14- racked one bucket into the cask and primed at 3.4 volumes of CO2. Flavor was very good, though strong for a cask beer. Mash temp at little lower than I wanted, and S-05 is a bit more attenuative (even more so than I thought).

Dec 28, 2013

Keller E.P.

Keller E.P.
1.050 - 1.005
 41 IBU
5.9% ABV

Malts: 16# Weyerman Pilsner + 3# Munich II + 1# Carapils

2oz Spalt (4.8% AA)- 60 min
2oz Hallertaur (4.3% AA) - 30 min
2 oz Hallertaur (4.3% AA)- 15 min
2oz Saaz (3.8% AA) - 15 min
1 oz Saaz (3.8% AA) - 0 min

9 gallons strike water
2.5 gallons absorbed
at least 7.5 gallons sparge water needed
total water: 16.5 gallons

Brewday Notes:
Fire lit at 6:36 AM
mash in at 7:20 AM
Initial mash temperature 146°F
8:53 AM first runnings 1.063. Just shy of 6 gallons.

14 pre-boil gallons at 1.041
11:10 AM final gravity 1.050. A little bit less than 12 gallons. Also I added 2 ounces of Saaz at knockout instead of one.

11:54 AM chilling done beer is in the buckets.

Completely done cleaning and all at 12:40 PM

1.26.14 - Gravity reads 1.005. Primary fermentation has been in the high fifties with the exception of a day or so in the low 60s. I have attempted a diacetyl rest of sorts, but it has been damn cold, so I do not think it even got to 65 once I removed the buckets from their fermentation chambers. I tasted it again today, and did not notice any diacetyl flavors, these are going to be ready for their cold conditioning.

Dec 11, 2013

Smokey the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit, Sally Field Giving the Finger

Smokey the Bandit
1.040 - 1.007
28 IBU
4.3% ABV

The Malts:

10 lbs American 2-row
3 lbs Cherry Smoked Malt
1.5 lbs Chocolate Wheat Malt
1 lb Carastan
1 lb 80L Crystal Malt


1 oz Target (8.5%AA) - 60 min
1 oz East Kent Golding (5.6%AA) - 30 min


7.5 gal strike water
1 gal mash-out
at least 7.6 gal sparge water


S-04 slurry from Bullfrog Brown

1.4.14 - Both buckets are now kegged. The one today may have a slightly lower final gravity than the one I kegged a couple days ago. The lower F.G. version is in the keg that says "use last".

Nov 2, 2013

Bullfrog Brown

Bullfrog Brown
1.040 -- 1.014
19 IBU
3.4% ABV 

The Malts:

6 lbs Marris Otter
3 lbs Munich (9L)
3 lbs Toasted Malt
2 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lb 80L Crystal
.5 lb Chocolate Malt

Hops: Hops: Hops:

1.50 oz East Kent Goldings (5.6% AA)

Water Needed:

7 gallons strike water
1.9 gallons absorbed
+1 gallon boiling water (mash out)

at least 8 gallons sparge water needed.

Brewday Notes and Reflections:

Mashed in at 7:55 AM. Meeting to add a little more boiling water because mash temp is too low.

I managed to get it up to about 157° with about 45 minutes to go.

First runnings: 1.061.
Pre-boil gravity 1.033.
Final gravity: 1.040.

All done at 2:20 PM.

Bullfrog Brown Notes:

11.4.13 - pitched yeast (S-04)

1.20.14 -- Tasting Bullfrog Brown:

Before tasting, it should be noted that this beer fermented in the low 60s. 

Appearance: Dark copper with excellent clarity. Light tan head that is very thick and persistent.

Aroma: Caramel and bready (toasty) notes are most noticeable. There is also a very faint hop aroma that is best described as earthy. Very fait fruity esters as well - peachy. No diacetyl; no DMS.

Flavor: Very light bready and toasty flavors, but the dominant and initial flavor is grainy and a bit sharp. Finish is bitter and lingers for quite a while. Finish is also a little watery. Caramel flavors do not come through past the grainy and sharp nature of the beer. The flavor is not bad, but just not what it could be. Sharpness fades as beer warms, as the malty flavors become a bit more prominent. Very low to no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and sharp. Slightly astringent. Low carbonation and medium bodied.

Overall: Not a bad start, but this beer is missing a lot of the character I hoped would be there. The mash temperature being lower than I wanted could have been a contributing factor. I may also want to add a bit more crystal malt, and perhaps forego the chocolate malt, which I have found to have a bit of a sharp flavor in the past. Though a lot of the negative aspects fade as the beer warms, there is still improvement to be made. One might be to increase the gravity a tad. Much of this could be that there is just not enough malt to contribute to the flavor profile I am looking for. The take-away: serve this beer warmer, and make the adjustments named above, and the end results should be much better. The potential is here, just work on the execution.


Temptation Toad

Half of this batch will be fermented with a yeast and bacteria cultured from a bottle of Russian River Supplication and a bottle of Temptation from the same brewery. I built the culture up starting with about a half liter of 1.030 wort, then ramping it up to a full liter once the fermentation subsided. Then I sent the following inquiry to Russian River Brewing Company:

"Supplication and Temptation Dregs -- What do I have?

Hello. I have been building up a culture from the dregs of the two beers I mentioned above. I would like to use this to ferment one of my next batches. I know there has to be some Pedio and Brett in there, but I wonder if you know more specifically what else may be living in there. Is there any Saccromyces, or is it all Brett and bugs? EIther way, I still plan to use this culture to ferment a brown ale I will brew soon.

THank you for any insight you may be able to provide."

...and got the following response from Vinnie Cilurzo, their head brewer:

"Thanks for the email, you have a mix of Sacc, Brett, and bacteria.  The Sacc is a wine yeast we use to bottle condition with.  The Temptation would contribute some pretty fresh Brett as we use some in the bottle and the bacteria we used in the barrel also has a bunch of wild yeast but the bacteria component is probably on the light side in quantity as it was added early on.  In general though you should be able to grow it up in low gravity low or un-hopped wort along with some apple juice (unfiltered) at a ratio of 80% wort and 20% apple juice."
Good luck!
Vinnie Cilurzo
Russian River Brewing Company

For the next step, I ramped it up to about three quarts, adding unfiltered apple juice to account for about 20% of the total of the final culture volume.

Temptation Toad Notes:

11.4.13 -- pitched culture (70 degrees)
12.20.13 - 1.008 (mildly sour. very thin)

Aug 31, 2013


Second Place: English Pale Ales
Peach State Brew-Off 2014
1.044 -- 1.010
41 IBU
4.5% ABV


13 lbs Marris Otter
4 lbs Flaked Wheat


. 50 oz Pacific Jade (14.2% AA) -- 60 min
1oz Nelson Sauvin (11.4% AA) -- 15 min
1oz Simcoe (13%AA) -- 10 min
1oz Simcoe (13%AA) -- 0 min
1oz Nelson Sauvin (11.4%AA) -- 0 min
.50 0z Pacific Jade (14.2%AA) -- 0 min


8 gallons of strike water
2.125 gallons absorbed
at least 8.125 gallons of sparge water needed.


Dough in 6:03 am 155 degrees.

First runnings 1.051
Almost 6 gallons

Pre-boil gravity 1.026. 14 gallons. Coming in a little low me to recalculate hops.

I made the following adjustment Pacific JD is now half an ounce at 60 minutes an half an ounce at zero minutes

New IBU I BU 41.40

Final gravity 1.043. I don't know how this happened I think it is a little higher than I expected because I boiled it really hard to try to get as many points as possible. I think I got more than I planned.

9.21.13: Half racked to keg, half racked to cask (primed to 2.3 volumes)
12.28.13 - a later note: the keyhole bung failed when i was filling the cask, and the beer intended for the cask was rushed into growlers to prime. Beer was overcarbonated, but otherwise very good. The keg version has not been tapped yet -- it is next.

May 11, 2013


Lajoie Beliner Weisse
1.0?? -- 1.0??
?.?% ABV
(five gallons)

3.5 lbs American Two-row
3.5 lbs Flaked Wheat

.5 oz Hallertaur (4.6% AA) - Mash Hops - added to decoction



7lbs grain:
2 gal Strike water

30 min @ 125
Decoction - approx 3 quarts
.5 oz Hallertaur in decoction (mash hops)
60 min @ 152
Added another 2-3 quarts of cold water to bring temperature down to around 115. Temperature held around 90-100 for 48 hours.

Pellicle on Sour Mash

Apr 4, 2013

Mrs. Gorilla

Mrs. Gorilla
1.037 - 1.010
36 IBU
3.5% ABV
Serve Cool with a Piston Engine

The Malts:

8 lbs Marris Otter
3 lbs Victory
2 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lb 60L Crystal
1 lb 80L Crystal
.5 lb 120L Crystal

The Hops:

1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 60 min
1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 30 min
1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 15 min
1 oz Styrian Goldings (3.8% AA) - 15 min
1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 5 min
1 oz Styrian Goldings (3.8% AA) - 15 min

7 gal strike water
Dough-in 7:39
Mash temp 156
First runnings 1.056
Pre-boil -- 1.031 (14gal)
Final gravity 1.037- should have boiled harder.


Feb 3, 2013


American Pale Ale
1.050 - 1.013
39 IBU
4.8% ABV

The Malts:

12 lbs American 2-row
5 lbs Unmalted Wheat 
3 lbs Victory Malt

The Hops:

.75 oz Columbus / Tomahawk (16.4% AA) -- 60 minutes
1.25 oz Columbus / Tomahawk (16.4% AA) -- 10 minutes 
.25 oz Columbus / Tomahawk (16.4% AA) -- 5 minutes
1 oz Simcoe (13.2% AA) -- 5 minues


Dry S-04


8 gallons strike water
2.5 gallons absorbed
5.5 gallons first runnings
at least 8.5 gallons sparge water needed
Not a clone of this.

Brewday Reflections:


Dough-in: 6:50 a.m.
Mash temp 153

New Orleans Music / Mardi Gras / Tomnahawk!! / Indians

First runnings 1.082
Second Runnings 1.042

EDIT 5 min addition: .25 oz Columbus + 1oz Simcoe (13.2%aa)
New IBU = 39

Original Gravity = 1.050

Chiller: next time put valve on in side not out side.

Shopping list:
Disconnect o-rings 


2.11.13 - Yeast pitched

2.15.13 -- Fermentation temps between 66-70. Gravity down around 1.020 (laundry room) already. Though it was still sweet (of course) the toastiness from the Victory malt and the flavors from the late hops (dankness from Columbus and Orange peel (light) from Simcoe) are already showing to be very nice.

2.22.13 -- Hall batch down to 1.015 (70% attenuation) - close if not finished already. The mash temp (153) seems to be keeping the FG higher (intended). Balance between malty/toasty - bitterness - hop flavor are all what I wanted. This will be very drinkable.

4.4.13 -- Tasting Tomahawk!!

Appearance: Dark gold / light copper with a fluffy white and persistent head. Clear, but not quite brilliant.

Aroma: A spicy and citrus-like hop aroma up front followed by toasty and bready from the malt. Light fruity (peach, honey, etc) esters. A small  bit of rustic graininess from the wheat. Dominant aroma is like citrus peels.

Flavor: Not a rowdy beer flavor-wise. Toasted malts are the first wave, then followed by medium-high bitterness. Bitterness is clean and not at all harsh. Aftertaste features citrus hop flavors (lemon, orange peels) as well as bready and toasty flavors. Hop bitterness lasts long into the finish. Finish is medium-dry with a small touch of sweetness. 

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with medium-low carbonation. Some creamy texture and no alcohol warmth or astringency. Bitternes leaves a light biting sensation on the tongue.

Overall: I am pleased with the drinkability of this beer as well as the flavor controbutions from such a sessionable recipe. I am liking Columbus hops the more I use them. I entered this beer as an ESB in a competition in St. Louis, and I think with the gravity, English character, hop and malt flavor levels, it fits that category well.

Dec 27, 2012

Ornery Old Bock

 Ornery Old Bock
1.066 - 1.012
18 IBU
6.5% ABV 

13 lbs Munich I
10 lbs Vienna
3 lbs CaraMunich
2 lbs Melanoiden

The Hops:

1oz Tettnang (4.7%AA) -75 min
1oz Hallertaur (4.3%AA) - 75 min


28 pounds of grain (1.75 qts / lb) -- thinner for decoctions:
12.25 gallons strike water
3.5 gallons absorbed
6.25 gallons of sparge water needed (includes an additional gallon for decoction boil-off, etc.)

Brewday Notes:

Mashed @ 122 for 30 min

Heated decoction too much - closer to 165 let cool without sleeping bag

First decoction only raised to around 132 - pulled another.

Mash temp ended way too high after second decoction. I've got it down to 150 with ice. There it will stay for an hour. 148 by the end of the hour.

Not doing further decoctions. Mashing out with boiling water -- one gallon.

Only about half fit in mash tun. Negligible effect on temperature.

First runnings: 1.072

Kettle Carmelized the first gallon or so of runnings. It was not as dramatic as I thought it would be. After heating Sparge water, I will continue to boil these runninings down to half the original volume.

Second runnings: 1.034

Ran off a little more than 14 gal (before adding back reduced wort. Reducing wort more, and will now do the longer boil as planned.

Reduced wort 1.114
Preboil 1.049 closer to 15 gallons

Boiled 135 minutes to get down to 11 gal.

O.G. 1.066


1.1.13 - Pitched yeast arounf 40 degrees. Letting it climb to around 53
1.20.13 - Diacetyl rest begun
1.26.13 - Transferred to serving kegs and placed in chest freezer to lager
1.20.14 - Tasting Ornery Old Bock:

Appearance: Light copper and very clear. Fluffy off-white head that is sticking around a little more than usual. One of the faults of this beer has been its head retention. This example's head is dying, but at a rate slower than what has been typical. Head is nearly gone after about 2 minutes.

Aroma: Not as aromatic as I would like. Aromas are more bread than toast. Overall, very neutral in aroma. No diacetyl or DMS. No hop aroma.

Flavor: Toasty flavors with good melanoiden presence, but still not as rich in this department as I would like. No hop flavors. Bitterness is in balance with the malt sweetness -- some bitterness lingers in the finish along with a hint of toasty flavors. Well-attenuated with not much residual sweetness. There is a slight alcohol warmth in the aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated with a medium-light body. Very slightly astringent and not very creamy. Slight alcohol warmth as mentioned previously.

Overall: This is a decent first go at a traditional bock. I am not sure of the effort involved with carmelizing the first runnings really paid off in the end, because the caramel flavors are not as rich as I would have expected. The flavors are there, but they may be more of a result of the grain bill than the procedure. The head is also an issue -- while I did do a protein rest, the long lagering period may have had an effect on its sustainability. If I were to make this recipe again, I may include some carapils just to insure some decent head.